Marketing Q & A
Marketing Q&A
By Al Jabaly

Al Jabaly is a certified marketing and business consultant with over 20 years of small business experience. Email your questions to All questions will be answered via e-mail. Some of the most interesting questions will be posted in this weekly column. For further information, Al can be reached at 1-888-899-3190


The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines MARKETING as follows:

“Marketing is the process of planning and executing of the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives”

E. Jerome McCarthy, an internationally known marketing consultant and professor of marketing, divided marketing into 4 general groups of activities (Product, Pricing, Promotion and Placement). These were recognized everywhere as the FOUR Ps OF MARKETING! Over time, they evolved into the SEVEN Ps OF MARKETING.

Here they are:

PRODUCT: An object or a service that is mass produced or manufactured on a large scale with a specific volume of units. Ex. a car. This details the specifications of the actual good or service, and how it ties up with the end user’s needs. This includes warranties, support, etc.

PRICING: It refers to the setting up of pricing for a product, including discounts, rebates, volume prices, etc. and it is the amount a customer pays for a product. It is determined by a number of factors including market share, competition, material costs, product identity and the customer's perceived value of the product.

PROMOTION: This includes advertising, sales, promotion, publicity, etc. Basically, promotion covers the various methods of promoting a product, name, brand, or company.

PLACEMENT: refers to the distribution of the product, from the manufacturer to the consumer. It covers the
various channels by which the product is sold: wholesale, retail, online, by geography, industry, etc.

PACKAGING: It refers to the way your product or service appears from the outside and how people will look at it and perceive it. It only takes a prospective buyer 15-30 seconds to see your product’s packaging and make a decision on whether it appeals to him or her or not. That is why companies spend millions on packaging. In many cases (like in cereals, for example) the packaging costs more than the actual product inside the package!

POSITIONING: It is how you position the product in front of the customers. Do they talk well about the product or the company? How you are seen and thought about by your customers is very important factor in determining whether your product will succeed.

PEOPLE: Any person coming in contact with customers can have a positive or negative impact on his or her overall satisfaction. People are very important because, in the customers’ eyes, they are part and parcel of the product and/or service. People must be well trained on the product, customer service, and be well motivated. You can have the best product, the lowest price, the most attractive packaging, placed in the right distribution channel, etc. But if you have the wrong people to explain or sell it, you will have lost a lot of goodwill and money. Your ability to select, recruit, hire, train, motivate and re-train people is paramount. It is the most important step you can take!

Finally, the SEVEN Ps of marketing constitutes the MARKETING MIX used by consultants to create their marketing plan for business clients.